My pet is missing – what do I do?

Your animal has gone missing.  Cats and dogs are different creatures in their behaviors.  When you realize your pet is missing immediately print up a poster with their picture, the details of how to contact you, and other pertinent information.  Make the print and picture large enough that cars passing by can see the information.  Too often the picture is not visible.  Make your posters durable.  The best are printed right off the computer.

Remember you only have about five seconds and five works to get your message across to drivers.

  1. MAKE YOUR POSTERS GIANT SO THEY CAN BE SEEN BY PEOPLE DRIVING BY
  2. MAKE THEM FLOURESCENT SO THAT THE COLOR ATTRACTS ATTENTION.
  3. PUT THEM AT MAJOR INTERSECTIONS NEAR WHERE YOUR PET IS MISSING FROM.
  4. KEEP THEM BRIEF AND TO THE POINT. *do not include your name or address on the flyer.  
  5. MAKE THE IMAGE LARGE AND CLEAR.
  6. USE GIANT NEON POSTER SHEETS. 
  7. COVER THEM IN PLASTIC SHEETING SO THEY REMAIN INTACT.
  8. PLACE SOME ON YOUR VEHICLE.
  9. CREATE A SMALLER FLYER THAT YOU CAN HAND OUT TO THE NEIGHBOURHOOD. 

Every day one can see many 8.5 inch by 11 inch posters on telephone poles but can you read them – no!!  Eventually you have inattention blindness.

Do a block plan and get the picture on each corner of your block.  Start with the blocks closest to you and then fan out.  Hand out a flyer to your neighbours around you.  Do you have a block watch Captain.  Ask them if they will send out an email.  Most are friendly people that are willing to help their neighbours!  Place your flourescent posters on telephone or street light poles at busy street corners within a 2 to 5 mile radius of the missing point.

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The picture to the right is not a good picture.  The one below  is.

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Next contact your local SPCA(S) and fax them the poster or drop it off.  Unfortunately descriptions often are inaccurate and not interpreted the same by everyone.  You know the saying – a picture is worth a thousand words!  Contact your local vets – get the poster to them.

Then update your information on Craigslist, our facebook page, Kijiiji and any other newspaper you want to.  Communication is usually the main factor in successful return of animals.

Remember to ensure that your tattoo/microchip information is current with the registering body.  If you moved and did not notify them no one will be able to contact you.

Get out and walk around your neighbourhood and call your pets name.  If they are injured they may not be able to bring themselves home.  I once had a cat drag himself home after a week – he had been hit by a car and I could not find him.  Eventually he made it to my door.  I was so happy he was there and immediately took him to the veterinarian.  Call your animal – be persistent.

CHANGE YOUR VOICE MAIL ADVISING ANYONE THAT HAS FOUND YOUR PET TO CALL YOU AT? WORK, CELL NUMBER OR ALTERNATIVE NUMBER.

Put some food and water and one of your pets blankets in a covered area outside so they will be drawn back to their home.  This is especially helpful with young animals that may be confused or animals that have moved and not sure of their new neighbourhood yet!

Lastly, keep going over what you did!  Contact every rescue organization in your area just in case – fax them the poster! Here is a sample of a missing pet poster –MISSING

REWARDS We do not recommend offering rewards on posters.  This can attract the wrong type of person that is money oriented or inexperienced rescuers that can chase the animal into the road.  

Just do not give up!  There are many true stories of animals that find their way home years later!  Hang in there and keep updating your information.

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